An image of the panel at the OH2022 event, with Kim McAllister at the far right.

Hosting at OH2022 in Belfast

It’s always good craic when we work with the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) but it was especially great to be part of their OH2022 conference in Belfast last week.

Our Senior Communications Consultant Kim McAllister got up at 4am and fought her way through airport security to fly for a grand total of 32 minutes – but as she says, it was 100% worth it.

New BOHS President Chris Keen had asked Kim to host her President’s Session, where she set out her ideas for how the Society might start thinking differently about how to influence policy and practice in worker health protection.

This was the first time since 2019 that international delegates had made it to the event and on the panel were representatives from across the world, including Australia’s new media darling, Kate Cole.

Kate, the President of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygiene, had found herself on the Sydney morning news almost daily during the lockdown, explaining how Covid spread. Occupational hygienists, after all, were key players in the task force that figured out Covid was airborne and not living on surfaces – and so well-placed to advise on keeping people safe.

Kim said: “The diversity of the panel at OH2022 was inspiring; different accents, genders and backgrounds meant that everyone could offer an insight into new ways of thinking. The audience was keen to interact and I navigated 200 people (while wearing heels) to make sure everyone had their chance with the microphone. 

“It dovetailed really well with the communication strategy workshop I delivered to around 40 people the following day.

“I shared the example of telling Scotland’s space story across different media, as I figured it would resonate with a room full of scientists wondering how to communicate their complex work.

“They were very engaged and we had an excellent discussion about how to communicate with different audiences on different channels, particularly when there are strict protocols in place.”

Kim now hopes to join the organisation for their next conference, which will be in Leeds in 2023, and perhaps even in Dublin in 2024.

She added: “Having hosted all BOHS’s conferences during the pandemic, I have got to know the head office team and many of the members well. I have enormous respect for their work in protecting people’s health at work and believe strongly in helping them promote it.”

If you require a conference host or would like to talk about making a communications workshop part of your event, contact Kim McAllister or call +44(0)131 561 0025.